Clinical and molecular implications of RGS2 promoter genetic variation in severe asthma

SARP3 investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) 2 terminates bronchoconstrictive Gαq signaling; murine RGS2 knockout demonstrate airway hyperresponsiveness. While RGS2 promoter variants rs2746071 and rs2746072 associate with a clinical mild asthma phenotype, their impact on human airway smooth muscle (HASM) contractility and asthma severity outcomes is unknown. Objective: We sought to determine whether reductions in RGS2 expression seen with these 2 RGS2 promoter variants augment HASM contractility and associate with an asthma severity phenotype. Methods: We transfected HASM with a range of RGS2-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) concentrations and determined RGS2 protein expression by Western blot analysis and intracellular calcium flux induced by histamine (a Gαq-coupled H1 receptor bronchoconstrictive agonist). We conducted regression-based genotype association analyses of RGS2 variants from 611 patients from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program 3. Results: RGS2-specific siRNA caused dose-dependent increases in histamine-stimulated bronchoconstrictive intracellular calcium signaling (2-way ANOVA, P <.0001) with a concomitant decrease in RGS2 protein expression. RGS2-specific siRNA did not affect Gαq-independent ionomycin-induced intracellular calcium signaling (P =.42). The minor allele frequency of rs2746071 and rs2746072 was 0.46 and 0.28 among African American/non-Hispanic Black patients and was 0.28 and 0.27 among non-Hispanic White patients, among whom these single nucleotide polymorphisms were in stronger linkage disequilibrium (r2 = 0.97). Among non-Hispanic White patients, risk allele homozygotes for rs2746072 and rs2746071 each had nearly 2-fold greater asthma exacerbation rates relative to alternative genotypes with wild-type alleles (Padditive = 2.86 × 10−5/Precessive = 5.22 × 10−6 and Padditive = 3.46 × 10−6/Precessive = 6.74 × 10−7, respectively) at baseline, which was confirmed by prospective longitudinal exacerbation data. Conclusion: RGS2 promoter variation associates with a molecular and clinical phenotype characterized by enhanced bronchoconstrictive stimulation in vitro and higher asthma exacerbations rates in non-Hispanic White patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-726.e1
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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